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8 things you didn’t know about rock climbing

By Localiiz Branded | 5 May 2021

Header image courtesy of Verm City Limited (via Facebook)

Set to make its debut at the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics, rock climbing is a wildly popular sport that has become well-loved amongst people of all ages over the decades, gaining popularity, especially in the last few years. If you find yourself fascinated by this high-intensity and highly rewarding physical activity, take a look at some of these interesting facts on rock climbing that will get you pumped up and ready to start scaling!

Photo: Verm City Limited (via Facebook)
1

There are 14 types of rock climbing

To begin with, there are so many classifications to climbing that it is not even possible to count them all with two hands! Notable types include bouldering, highballing, free-soloing, lead climbing, mountaineering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, top-rope climbing, aid climbing, free climbing, rope soloing, multi-pitch climbing, deep-water climbing, and ice climbing—with five of them having their own official grading systems.

If all that is making things seem a bit “out of reach,” there is no need to worry! Starting from the bottom, beginners can first find their footing by getting acquainted with an indoor wall. As a starting point, the clip & climb area at Verm City is an absolutely perfect spot for first-timers and amateurs, offering vertical walls with built-in studs and sockets to cling onto, all safely monitored by stringent staff, of course.

Photo: Verm City
2

Kids as young as four can start climbing

Under watchful adult supervision, children as young as four years old are ready to start climbing. Since the little ones are rapidly picking up crucial motor skills and hand-eye coordination in their everyday learning and playtime, rock climbing at an early age can actually be quite beneficial to their formative development.

As they make their way up, kids will have to rely on problem-solving skills to—almost quite literally—tackle the obstacles that lie ahead. Think of it as an activity that sparks their thirst for adventure, then provides them with the tools to embark on the journey. Each climb feels just like an expedition heading towards a large towering foe to get over and conquer, which we’re sure will get their imaginations soaring!

Photo: Verm City Limited (via Facebook)
3

It’s a great activity for team building

What better way to bond with the whole family than to “rope” everyone in together at the climbing wall? Far from a solitary sport, rock climbing in groups can help immensely in boosting problem-solving, cooperation, and communication skills. Not limited to only families, Verm City also boasts expansive experience in providing an exciting environment to host social events of all sorts, ranging from fun-filled children’s birthday parties to unforgettable team-building field trips.

In a group setting, climbers have to put their heads together to figure out optimal means of reaching the summit, calculating the next move in terms of its efficiency, and making compromises to move within the range of motion and available space in the surroundings. Such a rocky set-up provides a dynamic environment for fostering good teamwork and camaraderie.

Photo: Verm City Limited (via Facebook)
4

It can be an affordable sport to practice

Looking at the gear, climbing shoes, and gym membership costs involved in the initial stage could lead people to fret about the cost of rock climbing. In reality, when factoring in the long-term and priceless benefits that come with sufficient practice, the sport shows itself to be an investment.

Offering an affordable option for membership, Verm City currently presents an exclusive deal that allows unlimited climbs in their clip & climb area for an entire year for only $400. Reserved for the first 500 registrants, sign up now to save big on your great climbing adventures!

Photo: Verm City
5

Core strength is crucial

It would appear as if climbing requires some serious upper body power, with all the scaling and upwards gripping involved. Unbeknownst to many, the core is actually the major muscle group engaged, with it acting as the star player to keep balance and to provide the strength involved in defying gravity’s earthbound pull.

Branching out from the core, the pull moves upwards and relies on heavy use of back muscles, spreading towards the limbs, all whilst being supported by the glutes. Think of your midsection as the foundational command centre that deploys crucial signals to the rest of your body!

It also comes as no surprise that pulling the body forward with outstretched arms does a lot to increases muscle flexibility. This feat is super effective to straighten out and bolster your posture as well.

Photo: Verm City Limited (via Facebook)
6

You climb with your eyes first

Apart from giving your body a total workout, climbing also provides a training session for your brain and senses. The wisdom imparted from most experienced climbers advises novices to climb “eyes first,” keeping alert in order to pick wisely and figure out the right hold or grip to move onto. Strapping into a clip & climb can help children to work observational and decision-making skills, along with hand-eye coordination.

Photo: @commonclimber (via Instagram)
7

The first artificial climbing wall was built in the 1930s

Standing tall in Seattle for nearly a century now, Schurman Rock is believed to be the first artificially constructed climbing wall. It was built in 1939, consisting of large, chunky stone bricks cemented together to form a six-metre slab that stretches skywards. Invented by legendary scout captain, Clark Schurman, the assembly incorporated a plethora of mountain climbing puzzles into its design.

Then came a varsity climbing craze, which spread like wildfire amongst universities with sufficient architecture to support the endeavour. However, it was not until the year 1974 that the first specifically indoor climbing wall was built in Bolazano, Italy.

Photo: Verm City Limited (via Facebook)
8

Rock climbing has its own lingo

Indoor gyms in particular are constructed to present several pre-determined routes for climbers based on the arrangement and angles of the holds. As routes and walls become more intricate, increasing their difficulty, climbers have adapted an entire set of jargon that helps to describe the techniques and moves to combat the route at hand.

A substantial amount of configurations that include both hands and feet, as well as in-between movements, have all been allotted special monikers. Even the names of holds alone are referenced have over 20 specialised terms! For example, climbing aficionados will recognise the term “jug” as a way to describe a hold that has a dip in the middle for a comfortable grasp.

Designed as both an active amusement park as well as a climbing gym, Verm City is an 18,000-square-feet rock climbing gym that features decked-out walls in every corner. Suitable for the whole family, its expansive area features the clip & climb zone for newbies, training zones to boost technical skills, and high-tech walls that track and save your climbs to show how well you fare against the high score!

Even more exciting is their clip & climb annual pass, which now costs only $400 for the first 500 sign-ups! Holding the key to boundless fun, this pass allows you to join in on clip & climb sessions throughout the year with no black-out dates and on public holidays as well, provided that you are present for the mandatory safety introduction before each session rotation.

Children over nine years old can climb by themselves, whilst eight-year-olds and younger will require a parent or guardian—either holding an unlimited pass or regular ticket—to supervise. Each adult is allowed to assign themselves to two kids maximum.

No matter the stage you are at on your rock climbing journey, let Verm City bring you to new heights. Snatch your year-long passes now by clicking here, or simply pay them a visit to explore for yourself!

Verm City

As the first to introduce a full-facility rock climbing gym in Hong Kong, Verm City offers everything from bouldering, lead climbing, clip & climb, and top-rope climbing. It was here that they introduced rock climbing to the masses, transforming an extreme sport into a family activity that brings excitement to all ages.

(+852) 2560 8128

4/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay

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